Pakistan authorities block distribution of oldest newspaper

Distribution of the English-language daily Dawn, Pakistan’s oldest newspaper, is being disrupted in much of the country since it published an interview with former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns this latest attack on media freedom. The interview, which reportedly displeased the Pakistani military, appeared in the 12 May (Saturday) issue and the blocking began on 15 May. According to RSF’s information, distribution is being disrupted in most of Baluchistan province, in many cities in Sindh province and in all military cantonments. The Press Council of Pakistan has notified Dawn’s…Read more

Kenya’s journalists can now get ten years in prison for defamation

Online defamation and fake news are punishable by long jail terms under Kenya’s new Computer and Cybercrimes Act, which President Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law on 16 May. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns its disproportionate penalties as a threat to press freedom. If journalists are convicted of online defamation under the new law, they could be sentenced to up to ten years in prison and fined the equivalent of 42,000 euros, while the intentional publication of false information that “constitutes hate speech” or “negatively affect reputations of others” is punishable by up to…Read more

UK Commons defeat of Lords amendments ‘common sense’

The UK Society of Editors has welcomed the decision by the House ofCommons to vote down a Lords amendment to carry out part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry. The amendment, which was passed by the House of Lords on Monday, was voted down by 301 votes to 289. Ian Murray, Executive Director of the Society of Editors welcomed the decision which comes a week after the House voted down similar amendments tabled by Ed Miliband MP. He said: “It’s unfortunate that it’s taken so long for common sense to prevail. Too many of…Read more

RSF Publishes 2018 World Press Freedom Index

The 2018 World Press Freedom Index  which has been published by RSF indicates growing animosity towards journalists. Hostility towards the media, openly encouraged by political leaders, and the efforts of authoritarian regimes to export their vision of journalism pose a threat to democracies. The highest ranking Commonwealth country is Jamaica at number 6 and the lowest ranking is Rwanda at 156 out of 170 countries.  Read more

A Gettysburg moment for CHOGM

Four score and seven years ago, the 1931 Statute of Westminster formally loosed Britain's Dominions from the bonds of Empire as sovereign states. It was, if not the birth of the Commonwealth, a new birth of freedom: enshrining democracy, essential rights and the rule of law. Today, the Commonwealth Charter offers 2.4 billion people – a third of humanity – a panoramic vision of liberty. Freedom of expression is at its core. Rightly, it is defined to include 'a free and responsible media.' Shamefully, by that test, this shining vision is a cruel…Read more

The Astor Award 2018 – The Commonwealth Press Union Media Trust Honours the Memory of Daphne Caruana Galizia

The Commonwealth Press Union Media Trust has awarded the 2018 Astor Award, posthumously, to Daphne Caruana Galizia. The Astor Award, established in 1970 and one of the oldest press freedom awards in the world, is made to an individual or organisation that has made an outstanding contribution to the defence of press freedom within the Commonwealth. The citation for the Award is as follows: "On 16th October 2017, Daphne Caruana Galizia, Malta's crusading scourge of official corruption, cronynism and incompetence, died for her journalism - the victim of an assassin's car bomb.  She…Read more

UK Society of Editors welcomes defeat of Lords data protection amendments

The  UK Society has Editors has welcomed the defeat in the House of Commons of ‘perverse’ amendments to the Data Protection Bill. The clauses, 168 and 169, would have seen publishers forced to pay both sides costs of legal actions brought against them in data protection cases regardless or not of whether they won an action in court. The amendments, previously added to the Data Protection Bill in the House of Lords, were removed during the Committee stage of the Bill’s passing in the House of Commons yesterday. Ian Murray, Executive Director of…Read more

Kenyan journalists assaulted by police at Nairobi airport

The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on authorities in Kenya to immediately investigate the assault of journalists by police at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi yesterday. According to media reports and journalists who spoke with CPJ, police officers attacked reporters covering an opposition politician's return to the country, causing injuries to at least two journalists. "Authorities in Kenya cannot resolve their political disputes by beating up journalists," said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal from New York. "Kenyan authorities must urgently investigate this attack and put an end to any…Read more

Indian reporter hit by truck, dies after investigating ‘sand mafia’

The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Indian authorities to determine the motive and bring to justice those responsible for the death of journalist Sandeep Sharma in central India's Madhya Pradesh state. Sharma, a reporter for the local News World television channel in the state's Bhind district, yesterday was driving on his motorbike to a government event when a truck hit him and ran him over, according to the channel's bureau chief, Vikas Purohit, who witnessed the collision, and a report by NDTV. Purohit told CPJ that he took Sharma to the local…Read more

Quebec court orders Radio-Canada reporter to reveal her sources

The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned a Quebec Superior Court ruling that ordered a journalist to reveal her sources. The court ruled yesterday that Marie-Maude Denis, an investigative journalist for the French-language public broadcaster Radio-Canada, must reveal her sources in an ongoing court case in which two politicians from the ruling Liberal Party are charged with corruption, according to press reports. The ruling comes a few months after the Canadian parliament unanimously passed a shield law that allows journalists to protect their sources. In his March 22 ruling, Justice Jean-François Émond argued that…Read more